Most police department Facebook pages are straightforward, with posts asking users to help identify suspects, cautioning them about road closures, highlighting charity events and releasing information about arrests.
While police here operate their page in a similar fashion, they do it their own way — often aiming for laughs. Take, for example, one of the department’s favorite bits: the “preemptive paragraph” meant to anticipate the expected questions from Facebook commenters.
A December post attempting to identify two men who stole approximately $500 worth of items from Best Buy in Waterford read “No, no, yes, yes, no. Trying to shorten the preemptive Paragraph. No they are not (the) only store with theft. No they can’t search everyone leaving the store. Yes they are doing something to get people arrested (like calling us), yes there is an LP person at the door and no, they don’t use all our police resources when they call. I gotta learn to cut and paste more!”
Another example, posted the same day read: “Here we go with our preemptive paragraph to start a larceny post to answer most common questions we see asked. These thefts do not use all police resources. Theft happens in many stores, but some are more aggressive on having offenders arrested. Not every customer can be watched at all times. And for this store, our last post for something like this was October 27th.” Rather than coming off as too abrasive, the posts garnered 102 and 87 reactions, respectively, with comments such as… The Day